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Five mail processing centers in Wisconsin are among the 252 nationwide that the U.S. Postal Service plans to close starting in April.
Centers in Eau Claire, Kenosha, La Crosse, Portage and Wausau are included on the closure list. The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service said Monday it is seeking to close the centers and slow first-class delivery next spring, citing steadily declining mail volume.
The cuts are part of $3 billion in reductions aimed at helping the agency avert bankruptcy next year. It would virtually eliminate the chance for stamped letters to arrive the next day, a change in first-class delivery standards that have been in place since 1971.
The plant closures are expected to result in the elimination of roughly 28,000 jobs nationwide.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- A top Postal Service official says the agency isn't "writing off" first-class mail.
It's slowing down delivery of first-class mail, meaning mailers can no longer expect next-day delivery in nearby communities. The timetable will now be two to three days.
Postal Service vice president David Williams says the agency is "responding to the current market conditions" and putting itself in a position to "respond to future changes."
It's planning to move quickly to close 252 mail processing centers -- a move that's expected to eliminate about 28,000 jobs nationwide.
Williams says the cost-cutting is necessary as more people turn to the Internet for email communications and bill payments. First class mail volume is expected to drop by roughly half by the year 2020.
The post office has already announced a 1-cent increase in first-class mail to 45 cents beginning next month.
It's facing imminent default this month on a $5.5 billion annual payment to the Treasury for retiree health benefits. The Postal Service has said it needs to make cuts of $20 billion by 2015 to be profitable.
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